ELIZABETH — A city grocery store owner was sentenced to two years in federal prison after stealing more than $1.1 million in food stamps.

Charles Silva, 33, of Hillside, admitted his role in the scheme, in which his business cashed food stamps for cash and kept 70 percent of the proceeds.

It is illegal to exchange food stamps for cash.

Check Point Mini Mart received $1,131,063 for illegally redeemed Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program benefits, federal prosecutors said.

Silva also was ordered to forfeit $370,000 and pay $990,000 in restitution.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-438-1015 or email sergio.bichao@townsquaremedia.com.

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